Heather preparing for a training run
Devon athlete's Beijing dream
Tavistock pentathlete Heather Fell is on the verge of securing her place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Heather is targeting a spot in the Great Britain team after consistent performances in the five-sport event.
Heather Fell is a master of her sport - the modern pentathlon.
The discipline is made up of five sports - épée fencing, pistol shooting, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and cross-country running.
The 24-year-old, who lives near Tavistock, is on course for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after winning a silver medal at the 2007 European Championships.
Heather won silver in the European Champiopnships
The result in Riga marked a major breakthrough in what is her first full season in senior competitions.
Heather, who was a world junior champion in 2003, has been plagued by shin injuries over the past couple of years.
Up to two men and two women per country can qualify for the Games with 36 men and 36 women taking part in the event in China.
But Heather won't know if she's been selected for the GB team until June 2008.
Until then, she's aiming to perfect her skills.
Heather's shooting is improving
"My shooting this year has improved a lot. In the final you normally have 36 athletes and I'm normally in the top ten, which puts me in good stead for the rest of the day."
The equestrian part of the modern pentathlon is arguably the most difficult.
"You basically draw the horse out of a hat," said Heather.
"They've all jumped around the course already so you know they will get round, but you have to work out what works for that horse and connect with it in the 15 minutes you have to warm up."
Heather's ally in her bid to reach Olympic fame is Kate Allenby, who won bronze at the Sydney Olympics.
"Whenever I have a problem and don't feel I can speak to a coach or if I want another opinion on something, then I go and speak to Kate and she's always got lots of advice."
Heather Fell has the talent. Let's hope she stays clear of injury to complete her Olympic journey to Beijing.
last updated: 11/03/2008 at 16:49